Thousands of accounts were suspended
The Twitter misinformation policy regarding Covid-19 was introduced in July 2020 when the pandemic was raging across the world. Twitter had suspended 11,230 accounts and “challenged” 11.72 million accounts till September 2022. Twitter was widely used by people during peak pandemic. The social media platform had mentioned that public health experts, medical professionals, scientists and researchers “have been educating and informing us on how to stay safe, and Twitter has worked to highlight and empower that vital public conversation.”
Even when the global vaccination program was being rolled out, there were millions of tweets that shared fake news and misinformation. To counter that, Twitter had enforced the misinformation policy. “As the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines expands around the world at varying degrees of pace and scale, people continue to turn to Twitter to discuss what’s happening and find the latest authoritative public health information,” Twitter had said.
What was considered misinformation regarding Covid-19 on Twitter
Statements which intended to influence others to violate recommended COVID-19 related guidance from global or local health authorities to decrease someone’s likelihood of exposure to COVID-19, such as: “social distancing is not effective,” or “now that it’s summertime, you don’t need a mask anymore, so don’t wear your mask!” Or misleading claims that were unharmful but ineffective methods are cures or absolute treatments for COVID-19, such as “Coronavirus is vulnerable to UV radiation – walking outside in bright sunlight will prevent COVID-19.”
Twitter had made it clear that it “will continue to remove demonstrably false or potentially misleading content that has the highest risk of causing harm.” Not anymore though as the pandemic has been on the wane in most parts of the world.
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